Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/16/1993 01:55 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE                             
                         March 16, 1993                                        
                            1:55 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Senator Tim Kelly, Chairman                                                  
  Senator Steve Rieger, Vice Chairman                                          
  Senator Bert Sharp                                                           
  Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                   
  Senator Judy Salo                                                            
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  All Present                                                                  
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  SENATE BILL NO. 87                                                           
  "An Act extending the termination  date of the Alaska Public                 
  Utilities Commission to June 30, 1994."                                      
  SENATE BILL NO. 141                                                          
  "An Act extending workers'  compensation coverage to certain                 
  high school students in uncompensated work-study programs."                  
  SENATE BILL NO. 117                                                          
  "An Act making appropriations for  contract settlement costs                 
  and cost-of-living  adjustments for public employees who are                 
  members   of  certain   collective  bargaining   units;  and                 
  providing for an effective date."                                            
  SENATE BILL NO. 42                                                           
  "An  Act  relating   to  municipal  taxation   of  alcoholic                 
  beverages; and providing for an effective date."                             
  SENATE BILL NO. 154                                                          
  "An Act relating to the  economic development grant program;                 
  and providing for an effective date."                                        
  SENATE BILL NO. 152                                                          
  "An Act changing the frequency  of certain state inspections                 
  of  weights  and measures  and relating  to the  issuance of                 
  citations for weights and measures violations."                              
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
  SB 87 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/9/93.                         
  SB 141 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/9/93.                        
  SB 117 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/9/93.                        
  SB 42 - See Community & Regional Affairs minutes                             
          dated 2/25/93, 3/2/93, 3/4/93, 3/9/93.                               
  SB 154 - No previous action to record.                                       
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Senator George Jacko                                                         
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 42 and SB 154.                            
  Shelby Stastny, Director                                                     
  Office of Management and Budget                                              
  Office of the Governor                                                       
  P.O. Box 110001                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0001                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 154.                                       
  Paul Fuhs, Commissioner                                                      
  Department of Commerce and Economic Development                              
  P.O. Box 110800                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0800                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 154.                                       
  Edgar Blatchford, Commissioner                                               
  Department of Community and Regional Affairs                                 
  P.O. Box 1122100                                                             
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-2100                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 154.                                       
  Ken Leaf, Legislative Aide                                                   
  %Senator Robin Taylor                                                        
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 152.                                      
  Aves Thompson, Chief                                                         
  Weight and Measures and Weigh Stations                                       
  Department of Commerce and Economic Development                              
  12050 Industry Way                                                           
  Huffman Business Park                                                        
  Bldg. O, Suite 6                                                             
  Anchorage, Alaska 99515-3512                                                 
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 152.                                       
  Wendy Mulder, Legislative Liaison                                            
  Department of Commerce and Economic Development                              
  P.O. Box 110800                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0800                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 152.                                       
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-19, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  SENATOR KELLY called  the Senate Labor and  Commerce meeting                 
  to order  at 1:55  p.m. and  announced SB  87 EXTEND  ALASKA                 
  PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION to be up for consideration.                      
  SENATOR  RIEGER moved  to  pass SB  87  from committee  with                 
  individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it                 
  was so ordered.                                                              
  SENATOR KELLY announced SB 141  WORKERS' COMP FOR WORK-STUDY                 
  STUDENTS to be up for consideration.                                         
  SENATOR RIEGER moved to adopt the CS for SB 141.  There were                 
  no objections and it was so ordered.                                         
  SENATOR RIEGER  moved to pass  CSSB 141 from  committee with                 
  individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it                 
  was so ordered.                                                              
  Number 50                                                                    
  SENATOR  KELLY announced SB  117 APPROP: CONTRACT SETTLEMENT                 
  COSTS to  be up  for consideration.   He  said inasmuch  the                 
  legislature usually appropriates money to the University  in                 
  one big chunk, they  have asked legal council on  whether or                 
  not this supplemental is needed and if this amendment has to                 
  pass in  order for this agreement  to take affect.   He said                 
  they would, therefore hold the bill.                                         
  SENATOR KELLY announced SB  42 LOCAL SALES TAX ON  ALCOHOLIC                 
  BEVERAGES to be up for consideration.                                        
  SENATOR  JACKO,  sponsor  of  SB  42,  said  it would  allow                 
  municipalities  of  less  than   2,500  residents  to   hold                 
  elections  to  decide whether  they  want a  sales  tax rate                 
  beyond  the   level  of  other   sales  tax  items   in  the                 
  municipalities.  This will help offset the  decline in state                 
  SENATOR  SALO  asked how  many  communities were  allowed to                 
  import  liquor,  but not  sell it?    SENATOR JACKO  said he                 
  didn't know.                                                                 
  SENATOR RIEGER asked why he chose  to cut the population off                 
  at 2,500.   SENATOR JACKO explained he  would have preferred                 
  for it to apply to all communities across the state, and the                 
  figure was a matter of compromise.                                           
  SENATOR PEARCE moved to  pass CSSB 42 with fiscal  note from                 
  committee with  individual recommendations.   There were  no                 
  objections and it was so ordered.                                            
  Number 188                                                                   
  SENATOR KELLY  announced SB 154  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT  GRANT                 
  FUND to be up for consideration.                                             
  SENATOR JACKO  explained that  essentially this  legislation                 
  creates  a program within the capital  budget to address the                 
  needs for economic  development in municipalities.   It also                 
  establishes the qualifying criteria.                                         
  SENATOR  PEARCE  said  she  wanted  to  make sure  that  the                 
  regional port authorities and other instrumentalities of the                 
  state or municipality would be able  to own the projects and                 
  Number 285                                                                   
  SHELBY STASTNY, Director, OMB, said this legislation fills a                 
  need we don't have in our current capitol funding structure.                 
  MR. STASTNY said they wanted to make  sure that the owner of                 
  the assets  was a  government entity  that has  been elected                 
  (for  accountability).  The   Department  of  Commerce   and                 
  Economic  Development would  also  need  the opportunity  to                 
  evaluate  the  project.    If  the projects  are  determined                 
  feasible  by the administration, then  it would be placed in                 
  the  governor's   capital  budget   and  forwarded  to   the                 
  legislature for further consideration, he explained.                         
  Number 260                                                                   
  SENATOR  KELLY  said  the  definition  of  a  local  elected                 
  community council made  him nervous,  because there were  so                 
  many.  MR.  STASTNY said the elected representative  for the                 
  community making the proposal was their intention.                           
  SENATOR JACKO said he had  discussed the proposed amendments                 
  with Mr.  Stastny earlier and didn't have  any problems with                 
  SENATOR  KELLY  said  he would  have  his  staff  work on  a                 
  committee substitute and bring it back before the committee.                 
  Number 324                                                                   
  SENATOR  LINCOLN  said  there  was  one  extra step  in  the                 
  amendments where it  goes through the  Governor and then  to                 
  the legislature and in  the original bill it didn't  have to                 
  go through the Governor.   She wanted this extra step to  be                 
  looked at closely.                                                           
  SENATOR  SALO asked if all the amendments were adopted would                 
  the new positions  still be in  the Department of  Commerce.                 
  MR.  STASTNY  answered   that  he   had  checked  with   the                 
  Commissioner  of the  Department  of  Commerce and  Economic                 
  Development who said it could be administered with available                 
  SENATOR  SALO asked if  that meant the bill  would have a $0                 
  fiscal note.  MR.  STASTNY said he didn't think  there would                 
  be  a  need  for  funding,  but  wanted to  check  with  the                 
  Department of Administration before saying so for sure.                      
  SENATOR RIEGER  asked about  the $2000  application fee  and                 
  what the annual volume through this fund might be.                           
  Number 367                                                                   
  COMMISSIONER FUHS  said they  expected it  would take  extra                 
  staff to  do this  and included  an application  fee so  the                 
  money would not  come from the  general fund.   The fee  was                 
  fairly  arbitrary, he  added.   They  wanted  a high  enough                 
  figure to make sure people  were fairly serious about  their                 
  proposals.  He expected to get  between 30 - 50 applications                 
  a year.  He  explained there would be a prioritized  list of                 
  the economic development opportunities which would be funded                 
  depending on how much money was in the capital budget.   The                 
  money has to be appropriated by the legislature in any given                 
  Number 384                                                                   
  SENATOR RIEGER asked if he  was contemplating a differential                 
  in matching requirements.  COMMISSIONER FUHS said the higher                 
  the  match,  the more  points people  would  get on  a point                 
  system.  This is not structured the same as capital matching                 
  SENATOR LINCOLN said  she wanted it  made clear that  "sweat                 
  equity" could  be used  for the  match and  not just  money.                 
  COMMISSIONER FUHS found no problem with that.                                
  SENATOR  JACKO  pointed  out that  this  legislation  is not                 
  intended to replace the Governor's  capital match program or                 
  any of the other capital project  programs that are in place                 
  right now.                                                                   
  Number 420                                                                   
  SENATOR   PEARCE   asked  Edgar   Blatchford,  Commissioner,                 
  Department of Community  and Regional Affairs, what  was the                 
  maximum  amount  of the  small  grants his  department does?                 
  COMMISSIONER BLATCHFORD explained  there were two grant/loan                 
  programs within his department, the federal program with its                 
  complicated requirements  and  the  smaller  state  program.                 
  Although  there is an  economic twist to  the application in                 
  the  federal process, they are  still obligated to look also                 
  at community based projects.  The amount of requests exceeds                 
  by about 20  times the amount  of money available (about  $2                 
  million).   The  small state program  is for  small economic                 
  enterprises in rural Alaska.                                                 
  SENATOR RIEGER said with  an economic grant fund  like this,                 
  it seemed like the legislature should be able to appropriate                 
  money to the fund allocating it  for certain projects.  Then                 
  the Department would be obligated to follow the allocations.                 
  SENATOR KELLY  said they would  work on the bill  and try to                 
  get back to it  on Thursday and  announced SB 152 WEIGHTS  &                 
  MEASURES: INSPECTIONS/CITATIONS to be up for consideration.                  
  KEN  LEAF,  Aide  for  Senator   Taylor,  read  a  statement                 
  explaining  that  SB  152  reestablishes  the  Weights   and                 
  Measures    officials'    authority   for    the   effective                 
  administration  and  enforcement  of  Weights  and  Measures                 
  regulations,   to   enforce   registration  fees   and   the                 
  requirements  of the  regulations, and  to  increase program                 
  receipts by insuring that  all who are obliged pay.   SB 152                 
  will  decrease   the  frequency  of  Weights   and  Measures                 
  inspections while increasing  the potency.  It  will provide                 
  funding  for  new  weights  and  measures devices  used  for                 
  testing registration.                                                        
  AVES THOMPSON,  Chief of  Weights &  Measures, supported  SB
  152.  He  said changing this  to an annual requirement  will                 
  allow  them to  direct their efforts  to those  devices that                 
  need  more attention  and to  allow those devices  that need                 
  less attention to  go for  a longer period  of time  without                 
  SENATOR LINCOLN  asked him  how many inspections  he does  a                 
  year  and  in what  kinds of  areas  does he  do them.   MR.                 
  THOMPSON  replied   they  do  approximately   16,000  device                 
  inspections per year.  A third  of those are probably in the                 
  fishing  industry   located  in   Western,  Southeast,   and                 
  Southcentral Alaska. He said there is a need for them  to go                 
  into remote areas, particularly where  there are heating oil                 
  Number 568                                                                   
  SENATOR LINCOLN  asked if  they would  save enough  money by                 
  reducing the present number of inspections to  go into areas                 
  they  haven't been  in previously?   MR. THOMPSON  said this                 
  bill  would free  up some  money, although they  wouldn't be                 
  able to cover the entire state on their existing budget.                     
  SENATOR  LINCOLN  said she  would  like  to see  a  plan for                 
  Weights  and Measures and how that would affect their budget                 
  SENATOR KELLY asked him to explain line 15 - "(4) commits  a                 
  violation  identified under  AS  45.75.380."   MR.  THOMPSON                 
  explained that is a list of offenses and penalties.                          
  TAPE 93-19, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 580                                                                   
  SENATOR KELLY asked  if clients could  be fined if they  are                 
  out of compliance and Weights and Measure doesn't get around                 
  to checking  them for  a year.   MR.  THOMPSON replied  that                 
  probably  technically  they  could,  although  he  certainly                 
  wouldn't encourage that type of activity.                                    
  SENATOR  RIEGER  asked  the  penalty  for an  overweight  or                 
  oversize  vehicle violation.    MR.  THOMPSON explained  the                 
  overweight penalty  is 5  cents per pound  and the  oversize                 
  penalty is scaled and not to exceed $300.                                    
  SENATOR  KELLY asked how  much money  they have  received in                 
  fines.   MR. THOMPSON said he  would find that out  for him.                 
  He explained that he didn't want to necessarily make revenue                 
  based on fines,  but rather wanted  the device owner to  pay                 
  the registration fee which is the major source of income for                 
  his Division.                                                                
  WENDY MULDER, Legislative  Liaison, Department of  Commerce,                 
  explained the intent of the bill  was to give some authority                 
  to Weights and Measures if  device owners don't register  or                 
  are habitually out of compliance.   They estimate generating                 
  SENATOR PEARCE moved  to pass SB  152 with fiscal note  from                 
  committee with individual recommendations.  Senator  Lincoln                 
  objected. Senator Kelly, Senator Rieger, Senator Pearce, and                 
  Senator Salo voted yes  and Senator Lincoln voted no  and SB
  152 was passed from committee.                                               
  SENATOR KELLY adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m.                             

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